Anyone have the Sony DVP-NS999ES Yet? - Page 23 - AVS Forum
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DVD Players (Standard Def) > Anyone have the Sony DVP-NS999ES Yet?
Digione's Avatar Digione 07:31 PM 04-12-2003
My player has just arrived back from Sony, apparently fixed, according to their engineers !!!!! However, as I have been at the NAB show in Las Vegas all week I will not be able to check it out until Monday as it is at work. I will post on Monday night with all the information.

Sorry for the long delay, compliments of Sony Japan R&D.



pwb's Avatar pwb 09:06 PM 04-12-2003
I am sure I can say that all of us will be waiting with baited breath to hear what you will have to say once you have had the chance to re-introduce yourself to your 999.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

P.S. How are things in "Lost Wages" (Las Vegas)? :D
Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 08:22 AM 04-13-2003
Yeah! I can't wait to see what they call "fixed".
newmembertoday's Avatar newmembertoday 11:34 AM 04-13-2003
Is it broken? I've not only worked on the insides of the 999ES but I have watched MANY movies (in progressive mode) and have seen nothing but spectacular picture quality. Only once have I seen shimmer (on a title screen) but that's it. With the Denon 2900 arriving, the moment of truth (for me) draws near... :cool:
Digione's Avatar Digione 06:46 PM 04-13-2003
Newmembertoday and others.

My player was not broken in the sense that the player would not play "as designed", however, there are a number of menu functions that do not work in ANY player. Furthermore, Sony has done some rather "unusual" video processing for brightness and made some erroneous claims as to what the Gamma correction can or cannot do. Also the luminance and chrominace levels are way too high in the default mode. Enough said.

The "chroma bug" is part of the silicon and cannot be fixed.

I am very surprised that any of you would "mess" with this player, change chips et al, even if you can hear a difference. There is a five year warranty that you have just nullified by doing so. Repairs to this unit and any future upgrades can be very expensive out of warranty, believe me!

All things being equal I shall return mid-evening Monday night.


stilespj's Avatar stilespj 07:39 PM 04-13-2003
The analog board on the 999es is easy to remove and then to modify, if only to remove the three jrc2114 opamps, replace them with high quality 8pin dip sockets and reinstall.

The sockets allow the easy changeover of different drop-in replacement opamps, such as the opa2132 and ad826.

After finding a better opamp for the audio analog output stage, that SINGLE polarized electrolytic audio output coupling cap is my next target.

If it weren't for people willing to take the potential risk of voiding their warranty to try and improve their audio equipment, the state-of-the-art in the audio world would be much inferior to what it is now.

mpedris's Avatar mpedris 01:42 PM 04-14-2003
Originally posted by stilespj
If it weren't for people willing to take the potential risk of voiding their warranty to try and improve their audio equipment, the state-of-the-art in the audio world would be much inferior to what it is now.

Very well said, indeed!!
Digione's Avatar Digione 06:37 PM 04-14-2003
Only one thing to say..............Sony Sucks. I shall NEVER buy or recommend another piece of Sony equipment again, that includes my professional career. Not only did the product manager lie to me but so did my rep.

They replaced the entire C board, same firmware, all the same faults.

It will be returned to Sony tomorrow.

Will post again when they fix it or give me a refund.


Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 08:54 AM 04-15-2003
Obviously they didn't even check out the problems. And they're supposed to be pros? You have to wonder if they are really listening to us or just hoping we go away.
stilespj's Avatar stilespj 12:35 PM 04-15-2003
There is no doubt in my mind that they want us to go away, until their bottom line ($$$) is negatively influenced, then the spin control people might listen. This is inherently the nature of big corporations like $ony, in spite of turning out some excellent products.

Somebody complains about picture quality, must be a defective "C" board. This WILL fix the problem because the repair manual says so.

Digione's Avatar Digione 06:36 PM 04-15-2003
To All,

Well. at last I have calmed down. I spent much of today talking with Sony and the 999 product manager. It turns out that there was a lack of communication, let us say, and the Bristol service center did not have the relevant information or hardware/firmware to execute the correct "fix" for the player. Stilespj has the correct idea!

This issue is currently being resolved and Sony is actually paying for my player to be returned and "fixed". This will take up to 10 more days!!!!!

I will be in touch when my player returns.


editor's Avatar editor 07:03 PM 04-15-2003
standing by...

Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 08:07 PM 04-15-2003
Good luck, Digione. One question that comes to mind is that if they do fix yours what are they going to do with all the others?
Xphile's Avatar Xphile 12:36 PM 04-27-2003
To my surprise I was reading my newest edition of 'The Perfect Vision' magazine (one of the best HT magazines) and LO AND BEHOLD they published my letter to the editor in the technical questions section!

My letter specifically asked why the mainstream magazines do not mention the c-bug and asked for an explanation.

They actually published my letter (where I use the 999ES as an example!) and gave a very interesting response.

The most shocking thing in the response is that they said mine was the first letter they got about the c-bug/CUE (I was shocked because you read about it everywhere in this forum).

I would encourage anyone who does not like the CUE/C-bug in their (expensive) DVD players (like the 999ES) to maybe write a follow up letter.

Take care y'all!
Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 01:25 PM 04-27-2003
Very interesting, X-phile. Could it be that these reviewers don't know as much as we think? Or maybe they think we don't know anything?
Xphile's Avatar Xphile 11:19 AM 04-28-2003
Actually, the guy who wrote the response (Shane Buettler, the same guy who reivewed the 999ES in TPV and TAS) had a super resonse. They even explained why they don't include it in their reviews (concious decision). He did include web locations with detailed explanations.

The interesting thing is that he said he has to look VERY hard to see it on his front projector system. I think someone else somewhere in this thread even said that too. I find it un-missable on my RPTV, so it may manifest differently on different sets?
Ian_Currie's Avatar Ian_Currie 11:31 AM 04-28-2003
I can't see it on my front projection system either (my Runco scaler does a good job of hiding it I think).
rvaidyan's Avatar rvaidyan 11:46 AM 04-28-2003
It is definitely unmissable on my RPTV too (Sony KP-65WS500) despite the fact that this TV has an in-built line doubler that otherwise does a pretty good job.
Digione's Avatar Digione 11:17 AM 05-09-2003
Well it is all over!

My 999 spent 5 weeks at a Sony authorized ES service center...they could not fix it. It spent 3 weeks at the Sony service center in Bristol... they could not fix it. It spent 3 weeks at a "SPECIAL" service center in Parkridge NJ......they could not fix it.

It now rests in peace as a B stock for some unlucky person.

I shall not recap the software/firmware issues with this player, I have done so elsewhere in this thread. Remember that ALL the players have these same problems....have you found them yet?

Sony eventually installed not only a new MB107 board, or two, but a new version of the firmware and this did not fix the problems. The firmware cannot be upgraded, the ROM has to be replaced on the MB107 board.

I have just received my money back from Sony... many thanks!

I will not be subscribing to this thread after tomorrow as I have just ordered the Denon 2900... yes I know about the sub level issue.

I will respond to any questions regarding the 999 up to this Sunday night.

It was a pity Sony could not get it right, this player had potential.

Good Luck to all you owners.


pwb's Avatar pwb 11:26 AM 05-09-2003
Sad to hear that Sony could not rectify these issues. For what they tried to do (IE: replace boards; update firmware etc.) it's as if they were "surprised" by these issues.

I find it hard to believe that corporate would not be aware of the issues even before it was released. Must be some internal confidential documents floating around at Sony somewhere.

We all appreciate what you put yourself through as our "guinea pig". Your feedback has been very informative.

CycloneMike's Avatar CycloneMike 03:56 PM 05-09-2003
I just returned my 999ES and got my money back from Crutchfield.

I need base management in the player and a 120 Hz crossover is just too high for my speaker system. Who is going to spend this kind of money on a player that has speakers requiring a 120 Hz xover? I should have paid more attention to the specs before ordering.

The slow layer change drove me nuts.

The remote kept locking up.

Deep saturated reds seemed to have some type of line problem.

Yes - picky, but for the price - not acceptable in my book.

Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 09:01 PM 05-09-2003
That was bad news, indeed, Digione. I noticed someone mentioning they saw the C-bug on the 2900. I hope they were wrong. After doing a fix on the present models you'd think Denon would be careful to get it right.

I don't know what to think about the sub level issue with the 2900. Can't anyone make one of these things that does it all right?

The 999ES is a very good audio player but is a video player with issues. Tha Panasonics have very good video but lack in the audio department. The Denons have their little glitches as well.

I hope the 2900 pans out to be what everyone hopes it is. I will be glad to give credit to any company's DVD player that is reasonably priced and does everything it should, well.

I'm living with the 999ES and am not entirely unhappy. However, I can assure you all, I will know all about my next choice in DVD players before I buy!

After owning the Sony S-7000 I figured this player would be a reference player too. (for video as well as audio) I was only half right. As I said, I jumped in without checking it out. Later I kept hoping Sony would have a fix. I've had mine way too long to try taking it back now. Good luck with the 2900, Digione.

newmembertoday's Avatar newmembertoday 05:22 AM 05-10-2003
You guys are all absolutely insane! I've never in my life seen so many people rave about a product then pick it apart like vultures until it is deemed trash.

It doesn't happen just to the 999ES but to ALL players here. The Yamaha S2300 was the HUGE breakthru for about a month. Now it's trash. The Pioneer 47Ai was best before that, now it HAS to be avoided. The Denon 2800 MkII is inferior to the 3800 of course, BUT the Panasonic RP82 is king. But wait! The Denon 2900 is best! Oops, it has bass management issues. Maybe the Denon 3900 will be better....

The point is: There is nothing significantly wrong with the Sony. It is an incredible audio player and looks as good as ANY DVD player I've seen for movies.

Digione has done more damage in trying to 'help' the owners of the Sony than good. He has everyone convinced that the Sony is trash and is unrepairably so. He is dead wrong. We call his type 'Anal beyond belief'...

Bob Saylor's Avatar Bob Saylor 09:25 AM 05-10-2003
Actually, I said I'm not entirely unhappy with the 999 Newmembertoday. I am unhappy with Sony, however because they either cannot or will not try to make the 999 better. I can live with it, but I'll be more careful next time.

CycloneMike's Avatar CycloneMike 10:25 AM 05-10-2003

I would also somewhat echo the sentiments of Bob. The primary reason I returned the 999 was the ridiculous crossover at 120 Hz.

If I had known this before I purchased the unit I would not have bought it in the first place. I know now to research the unit more in depth first.

My receiver does not have BM on the external inputs. My speakers sound best at a crossover of 60 - 80 Hz for the fronts and 80 Hz for the center and surrounds and they are not designed for full range.

The 120 Hz did not sound right as my subwoofer was too localized with the higher range sounds.

I could have easily lived with the other "faults" and the picture was very very good - the best I have seen on a DVD player.

However, I can buy much less costly players with the great picture, but they are lacking in the audio portion. The 999 was not acceptable for me in the SACD realm and did not blend well with my system.

Why Sony would sell a higher-end DVD/SACD player with a 120 Hz crossover is beyond interpretation... IMHO.

mpedris's Avatar mpedris 12:40 PM 05-10-2003
Originally posted by CycloneMike

Deep saturated reds seemed to have some type of line problem.
That would be the Chroma Bug that you're seeing! :D

Originally posted by newmembertoday

The Yamaha S2300 was the HUGE breakthru for about a month. Now it's trash.
Why? What on Earth happened with the Yamaha S2300? What was the problem?? :confused:
Digione's Avatar Digione 07:27 PM 05-10-2003

Sorry you feel that way. The fact is that this $1200 player had a significant number of technical flaws and design assumptions above and beyond what most engineers would expect in this price range, see the Secrets page.

The issues raised on the Secrets page, plus all those I discovered, and the blatant mis-information provided on the Sony ES page is totally unacceptable. The 7000 which I still own is, almost technical perfection when compared to the 999.

The reasoning given to me by Sony for the "peculiar" design characteristics of the 999 were based upon, in my technical opinion, a flawed view of the consumer and the DVD production world.

You must remember that as a Professional Engineer who designs and builds world class TV Broadcast and Post Production facilities around the world, that I expect, as do my clients , that the job to be done right, especially at the "top end".

Sony's refund is effectively an admission of guilt.... they could not rectify their mistakes.

As I said this player had great potential, it provides a good picture and excellent audio. This however is no excuse for bad engineering especially in this price range.

I am sure that those users who do not have access to sophisticated test equipment, the technical knowledge, or who are not as sensitive to a number of video issues will be VERY happy with this player.

Remember that there are MANY users out there who rely upon people like me to provide totally unbiased technical evaluations of equipment in order to assist them in the "correct" choice.

If everybody sat back and let the manufacturers get away with this type of poor design we would not get anywhere. You only need to see Denons engineering responses to users requests and performance issues to see a better, but not perfect, responsiveness.

This will be my last post on this thread.... I think.


newmembertoday's Avatar newmembertoday 06:11 AM 05-11-2003

You are driving home my point but without knowing it.

You are doing a huge disservice to anyone here by judging ANY consumer level DVD player against your 'professional' standards.

I can understand complaints about firmware bugs and questionable functionality. I could also understand why Sony gave you a refund, to keep you happy. Is that bad? Perhaps they wanted to get you off their back?!?!

What I don't understand is why you are so critical about a player that provides a good picture and excellent audio, to use your own words. Do you not understand that an $800 (street price) player that provides this and some features that are missing on $3500 players that also doesn't have skipping/freezing (Denon 3800), vibration issues (some Yamaha S2300s), poor audio (any Panasonic player), crappy bass management (all universal players), Pioneer issues (too many to list), isn't so bad after all? You are apparently way out of touch with the consumer market.

"Remember that there are MANY users out there who rely upon people like me to provide totally unbiased technical evaluations of equipment in order to assist them in the "correct" choice." LOL! SO the average consumer is misguided and ignorant? Man, you are a legend in your own mind and have a typical engineer ego....

This is my last post as well ....
pwb's Avatar pwb 05:35 AM 05-12-2003
Don't forget to start a thread on your test results for the 2900 you now own.


A happy 999 owner....8-)
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